Obviously the media is abuzz with news that former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire has admitted to using steroids. For most people this comes as no surprise. After the investigation by Congress and numerous accusations of some of baseball’s top players, it would be hard to find anyone who didn’t think that he didn’t use steroids at some part of his career. I really don’t have much to say on the subject besides, who cares?
McGwire was from a different time in baseball. The ’80’s and ’90’s were full of ‘roided ballplayers and no one seemed to care. Major League Baseball looked the other way. Why should they care when players and owners were making money hand-over-fist? Baseball is a very different game now. If Albert Pujols was found to have used steroids it would be a huge blow to the game, especially in a time where they actually are looking for players who may use and it’s assumed that all players are not using. Baseball wasn’t always like that. Look at McGwire, Giambi, Conseco, Bonds. It’d be hard to look at those guys and not know. We did know, we just didn’t care.
That’s not to say that McGwire didn’t do anything wrong. Because other players were using doesn’t make it any less of an offense for McGwire to use. The past is the past though. I still contend that McGwire did more good for the game of baseball than he did harm. After the players strike baseball saw a huge drop in attendance. The home run race of 1998 got people interested in the game again. There was an excitement in the air that I never experienced prior or since. Everyone was excited to see McGwire and Sosa go at it. It brought people back to the game and made fans out of newcomers.
Some people are saying that McGwire is only coming because he thinks it will help his chances in the Hall of Fame. I disagree. He is now the Cardinals hitting coach and there is no way that he would be able to do his job without addressing the issue. He did it with class (a lot more class than how he handled his testimony before Congress). He has nothing to be ashamed of in that aspect. I respect him for finally owning up to his past. I think the matter is settled and all his focus should be on helping the Cardinals be the best they can be in the upcoming season.